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11.01 Annotation It may be appropriate to consider context in determining whether a communication "expressly advocates" within the meaning of sub.(16) (a) 1. The Elections Board's attempt to apply a context-based standard of express advocacy was an unfair attempt at retroactive rule-making, without any express statutory grant of authority, and thus, a violation of due process. Elections Board v. Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce, 227 Wis. 2d 650, 597 N.W.2d 721 (1999), 98-0596.
11.01 Annotation The term "political purposes" is not restricted to acts of express advocacy, but encompasses many acts undertaken to influence an election, including making contributions to an election campaign. Contributions may be in-kind, as well as in cash, and campaign organizations are required to report the receipt of in-kind contributions. Wisconsin Coalition for Voter Participation, Inc. v. State Elections Board, 231 Wis. 2d 670, 605 N.W.2d 654 (Ct. App. 1999), 99-2574.
11.01 Annotation Subs. (9) and (16), 1975 stats., [now subs. (10) and (16)] are constitutional only if narrowly construed to apply only to acts of express advocacy of the election or defeat of an identified candidate or referendum result. 65 Atty. Gen. 145.
11.02 11.02 Determination of filing officer. Except where the filing of duplicate reports or statements is specifically required by law, each person, committee or group subject to s. 11.05 shall have one filing officer. Such officer shall be determined as follows:
11.02(1) (1) The "filing officer" for each candidate for state office and for each committee which or individual who is acting in support of or in opposition to any candidate for state office is the board.
11.02(2) (2) The "filing officer" for each committee which or individual who is acting in support of or in opposition to any candidates for state and local offices is the board.
11.02(3) (3) Except as provided in sub. (3e), the "filing officer" for each candidate for local office and for each committee which or individual who is acting in support of or in opposition to any candidate for local office, but not any candidate for state office, is the clerk of the most populous jurisdiction for which any candidate who is supported or opposed seeks office.
11.02(3e) (3e) The "filing officer" for each candidate for municipal judge elected under s. 755.01 (4) and for each committee which or individual who is acting in support of or in opposition to such a candidate, but not any candidate for state office, is the county clerk or board of election commissioners of the county having the largest portion of the population in the jurisdiction served by the judge.
11.02(3m) (3m) The "filing officer" for an individual who or committee which supports or opposes an effort to circulate and file a petition to recall an individual who holds an office is the filing officer for candidates for that office.
11.02(4) (4) The "filing officer" for each group which or individual who is acting in support of or in opposition to any statewide referendum is the board.
11.02(5) (5) The "filing officer" for each group which or individual who is acting in support of or in opposition to any statewide and local referenda is the board.
11.02(6) (6) The "filing officer" for each group which or individual who is acting in support of or in opposition to any local referendum, but not any statewide referendum, is the clerk of the most populous jurisdiction in which any referendum being supported or opposed is conducted.
11.02(7) (7) If the jurisdiction under sub. (3) or (6) is a school district, the appropriate clerk is the school district clerk.
11.02 History History: 1975 c. 93; 1983 a. 491; 1985 a. 225, 303; 1999 a. 182.
11.03 11.03 Nonapplicability.
11.03(1)(1) Elections for the positions of presidential elector and convention delegate are not subject to ss. 11.05 to 11.23 and 11.26 to 11.29.
11.03(2) (2) Except as otherwise expressly provided, this chapter does not apply to any candidate for national office acting exclusively in support of the candidate's own campaign, with respect to such activities only.
11.03(3) (3) Except as otherwise expressly provided, this chapter does not apply to any individual or committee acting exclusively in support of or in opposition to any of the following:
11.03(3)(a) (a) Candidates for national office.
11.03(3)(b) (b) Other individuals and committees exclusively supporting or opposing candidates for national office.
11.04 11.04 Registration and voting drives. Except as provided in s. 11.25 (2) (b), ss. 11.05 to 11.23 and 11.26 do not apply to nonpartisan campaigns to increase voter registration or participation at any election that are not directed at supporting or opposing any specific candidate, political party, or referendum.
11.04 History History: 1973 c. 334; 1979 c. 328.
11.05 11.05 Registration of political committees, groups and individuals.
11.05(1)(1) Committees and groups. Except as provided in s. 9.10 (2) (d), every committee other than a personal campaign committee which makes or accepts contributions, incurs obligations, or makes disbursements in a calendar year in an aggregate amount in excess of $300, and every political group subject to registration under s. 11.23 shall file a statement with the appropriate filing officer giving the information required by sub. (3). In the case of any committee other than a personal campaign committee, the statement shall be filed by the treasurer. A personal campaign committee shall register under sub. (2g) or (2r).
11.05(2) (2)Individuals. Except as provided in s. 9.10 (2) (d), every individual, other than a candidate or agent of a candidate, who accepts contributions, incurs obligations, or makes disbursements in a calendar year in an aggregate amount in excess of $300 to support or oppose the election or nomination of a candidate at an election and every individual subject to registration under s. 11.23 shall file a statement with the appropriate filing officer giving the information required by sub. (3). An individual who guarantees a loan on which an individual, committee or group subject to a registration requirement defaults is not subject to registration under this subsection solely as a result of such default.
11.05(2g) (2g)Candidates and personal campaign committees. Every candidate as defined in s. 11.01 (1) shall file a registration statement with the appropriate filing officer giving the information required by sub. (3). If a candidate appoints another person as campaign treasurer the candidate's registration statement shall be cosigned by the candidate and the candidate's appointed treasurer. A candidate who receives no contributions and makes no disbursements shall file such statement as provided in s. 11.10 (1) but need not appoint a campaign treasurer or designate a campaign depository account until the first contribution is received or disbursement made.
11.05(2r) (2r)General reporting exemptions. Any committee, group, or individual, other than a committee or individual required to file an oath under s. 11.06 (7), who or which does not anticipate accepting contributions, making disbursements or incurring obligations in an aggregate amount in excess of $1,000 in a calendar year and does not anticipate accepting any contribution or contributions from a single source, other than contributions made by a candidate to his or her own campaign, exceeding $100 in that year, or exceeding $2,500 in that year for a group or individual subject to registration under s. 11.23, may indicate on its registration statement that the committee, group, or individual will not accept contributions, incur obligations or make disbursements in the aggregate in excess of $1,000 in any calendar year and will not accept any contribution or contributions from a single source, other than contributions made by a candidate to his or her own campaign, exceeding $100 in that year, or exceeding $2,500 in that year for a group or individual subject to registration under s. 11.23. Any registrant making such an indication is not subject to any filing requirement if the statement is true. The registrant need not file a termination report. A registrant not making such an indication on a registration statement is subject to a filing requirement. The indication may be revoked and the registrant is then subject to a filing requirement as of the date of revocation, or the date that aggregate contributions, disbursements or obligations for the calendar year exceed $1,000, or the date on which the registrant accepts any contribution or contributions exceeding $100 from a single source, or exceeding $2,500 from a single source for a group or individual subject to registration under s. 11.23, other than contributions made by a candidate to his or her own campaign, during that year, whichever is earlier. If the revocation is not timely, the registrant violates s. 11.27 (1).
11.05(3) (3)Required information. The statement of registration shall include, where applicable:
11.05(3)(a) (a) The name and mailing address of the committee, group or individual.
11.05(3)(c) (c) In the case of a committee, a statement as to whether the committee is a personal campaign committee, a political party committee, a legislative campaign committee, a support committee or a special interest committee.
11.05(3)(e) (e) The name and mailing address of the campaign treasurer and any other custodian of books and accounts. Unless otherwise directed by the registrant on the registration form and except as otherwise provided in this chapter or any rule of the board, all mailings which are required by law or by rule of the board shall be sent to the treasurer at the treasurer's address indicated upon the form.
11.05(3)(f) (f) The name, mailing address, and position of other principal officers, including officers and members of the finance committee, if any.
11.05(3)(h) (h) The nature of any referendum which is supported or opposed.
11.05(3)(L) (L) The name and address of the campaign depository account and of any other institution where funds are kept and the account number of the depository account and of each additional account and safety deposit box used.
11.05(3)(n) (n) In the case of a labor organization, separate segregated fund under s. 11.38 (1) (a) 2. or conduit established by a labor organization, a statement as to whether the organization is incorporated, and if so, the date of incorporation and whether or not such incorporation is under ch. 181.
11.05(3)(o) (o) In the case of a legislative campaign committee, a statement signed by the leader of the party in the house for which the committee is established attesting to the fact that the committee is the only authorized legislative campaign committee for that party in that house.
11.05(3)(p) (p) In the case of a support committee, a statement signed by the individual on whose behalf the committee intends to operate affirming that the committee is the only committee authorized to operate on his or her behalf, unless the committee files a statement under s. 11.06 (7).
11.05(3)(q) (q) In the case of a conduit, the name and mailing address of a sponsor, as defined in s. 11.185 (1), to which contributions may be redirected as provided under s. 11.185.
11.05(3m) (3m)Vacancies in nomination. Any personal campaign committee of an independent candidate for partisan office or a candidate for nonpartisan county or municipal office may file with its registration statement a list of the members of the committee, in addition to those specified in sub. (3) (e) and (f), who shall be recognized by the official or agency with whom the candidate's nomination papers are filed for the purpose of filling a vacancy in nomination in the event of the candidate's death. The board shall provide a place on the statement for such designations.
11.05(4) (4)Referendum registration. Every committee under this chapter which in addition operates as a political group must register under this section as a group. Every group which in addition operates as a political committee must register under this section as a committee. Except in the case of a personal campaign committee, an organization which operates as both a committee and a group and which has the same filing officer for both operations may file a single registration statement under this section.
11.05(5) (5)Change of information. Any change in information previously submitted in a statement of registration shall be reported by the registrant to the appropriate filing officer within 10 days following the change. This period does not apply in case of change of an indication made under sub. (2r), which shall be reported no later than the date that a registrant is subject to a filing requirement under sub. (2r). Any such change may be reported only by the individual or by the officer who has succeeded to the position of an individual who signed the original statement; but in the case of a personal campaign committee, a candidate or campaign treasurer may report a change in the statement except as provided in s. 11.10 (2), and in the case of any other committee or group, the chief executive officer or treasurer indicated on the statement may report a change. If a preexisting support committee is adopted by a candidate as his or her personal campaign committee, the candidate shall file an amendment to the committee's statement under this subsection indicating that all information contained in the statement is true, correct and complete.
11.05(5m) (5m)Certification. Every statement and every change made in a statement filed under this section shall contain a certification signed by the individual filing the statement that all information contained in the statement is true, correct and complete.
11.05(6) (6)Contribution or disbursement prohibited. Except as provided in subs. (7) and (13), no person, committee or group subject to a registration requirement may make any contribution or disbursement from property or funds received prior to the date of registration under this section.
11.05(7) (7)Change in status of new registrant. Notwithstanding sub. (6), any individual or organization who or which has received property or funds which were not intended for political purposes in connection with an election for state or local office at the time of receipt may make contributions or disbursements from such property or funds in connection with an election for state or local office if the individual or organization complies with applicable provisions of sub. (1), (2) or (2g) as soon as such intent changes. For purposes of s. 11.06 (1), all property or funds which are in a registrant's possession on the date of registration under this section shall be treated as received on the date that such intent changes so that the property or funds are to be used for political purposes in connection with an election for state or local office.
11.05(8) (8)Certain intra-registrant transfers exempt. If an organization which is not organized exclusively for political purposes makes a contribution from its own property or funds to a committee or group, affiliated with the organization, which is organized exclusively for political purposes, and the contributing organization receives no contribution from a single source in excess of $20 in the aggregate during any calendar year, and it makes no contributions or disbursements and incurs no obligations other than to make the transactions specified in this subsection, then no registration requirement applies to the contributing organization.
11.05(9) (9)Conduits.
11.05(9)(a)(a) For purposes of this chapter, every individual who and every committee or group which deposits a contribution in an account at a financial institution as defined in s. 705.01 (3) is considered to receive and accept the contribution.
11.05(9)(b) (b) An individual who or a committee or group which receives a contribution of money and transfers the contribution to another individual, committee or group while acting as a conduit is not subject to registration under this section unless the individual, committee or group transfers the contribution to a candidate or a personal campaign, legislative campaign, political party or support committee.
11.05(10) (10)Certain activity by spouses exempt. For purposes of compliance with the registration requirements of this section a husband and wife acting jointly for political purposes shall be considered an "individual" rather than a "committee".
11.05(11) (11)Exemption for indirect political activity. If any individual makes only those disbursements and incurs only those obligations which are exempted from reporting under s. 11.06 (2), or if any committee or group makes no contributions, and makes only those disbursements and incurs only those obligations which are exempted from reporting under s. 11.06 (2), then no registration requirement under this section applies to that individual, committee or group.
11.05(12) (12)Time of registration; acceptance of unlawful contributions.
11.05(12)(a)(a) Except as authorized under sub. (13), a candidate shall comply with sub. (2g) no later than the time that he or she becomes a candidate as defined in s. 11.01. Except as authorized in sub. (13), no candidate or agent of a candidate may accept any contribution or contributions at any time when the candidate is not registered under this section.
11.05(12)(b) (b) Except as authorized under sub. (13), a committee, group or individual that becomes subject to a registration requirement under sub. (1) or (2), other than a candidate or agent of a candidate, shall comply with sub. (1) or (2) no later than the 5th business day commencing after receipt of the first contribution by the committee, group or individual exceeding the amount specified under sub. (1) or (2) or s. 11.23 (1), and before making any disbursement exceeding that amount. No committee supporting or opposing the election or nomination of a candidate at an election, other than an agent of a candidate, may accept any contribution or contributions exceeding $300, no individual supporting or opposing the election or nomination of a candidate at an election, other than a candidate or agent of a candidate, may accept any contribution or contributions exceeding $300, and no group or individual subject to registration under s. 11.23 may accept any contribution or contributions exceeding $2,500, in the aggregate during a calendar year at any time when the committee, group or individual is not registered under this section except within the initial 5-day period authorized by this paragraph.
11.05(13) (13)Bank account and postal box; exemption. An individual, committee or group does not violate this section by accepting a contribution and making a disbursement in the amount required to rent a postal box, or in the minimum amount required by a bank or trust company to open a checking account, prior to the time of registration, if the disbursement is properly reported on the first report submitted under s. 11.20 after the date that the individual, committee or group is registered, whenever a reporting requirement applies to the registrant.
11.05 Cross-reference Cross-reference: See also ss. GAB 6.02 and 6.04, Wis. adm. code.
11.055 11.055 Filing fees.
11.055(1)(1) Except as provided in sub. (3), each individual who, or committee, group or corporation that, is required to register with the board under s. 11.05 or 11.38 (1) shall annually pay a filing fee of $100 to the board.
11.055(2) (2) Except as provided in s. 11.19 (1), an individual who, or committee, group or corporation that, is subject to sub. (1) shall pay the fee specified in sub. (1) together with the continuing report filed under s. 11.20 (4) in January of each year. If an individual, committee, group or corporation registers under s. 11.05 or changes status so that sub. (1) becomes applicable to the individual, committee, group or corporation during a calendar year, the individual, committee, group or corporation shall pay the fee for that year with the filing of the individual's, committee's, group's or corporation's registration statement under s. 11.05 or at any time before the change in status becomes effective.
11.055(3) (3)Subsection (1) does not apply to a candidate or personal campaign committee. Subsection (1) does not apply to any registrant under s. 11.05 for any year during which the registrant does not make disbursements exceeding a total of $2,500.
11.055 History History: 1997 a. 27.
11.06 11.06 Financial report information; application; funding procedure.
11.06(1)(1) Contents of report. Except as provided in subs. (2), (3) and (3m) and ss. 11.05 (2r) and 11.19 (2), each registrant under s. 11.05 shall make full reports, upon a form prescribed by the board and signed by the appropriate individual under sub. (5), of all contributions received, contributions or disbursements made, and obligations incurred. Each report shall contain the following information, covering the period since the last date covered on the previous report, unless otherwise provided:
11.06(1)(a) (a) An itemized statement giving the date, full name and street address of each contributor who has made a contribution in excess of $20, or whose contribution if $20 or less aggregates more than $20 for the calendar year, together with the amount of the contribution and the cumulative total contributions made by that contributor for the calendar year.
11.06(1)(b) (b) The occupation and name and address of the principal place of employment, if any, of each individual contributor whose cumulative contributions for the calendar year are in excess of $100.
11.06(1)(c) (c) The name and address of each registrant from which a transfer of funds was received or to which a transfer of funds was made, together with the date and amount of such transfer, and the cumulative total for the calendar year.
11.06(1)(d) (d) An itemized statement of other income in excess of $20, including interest, returns on investments, rebates and refunds received.
11.06(1)(e) (e) An itemized statement of contributions over $20 from a single source donated to a charitable organization or to the common school fund, with the full name and mailing address of the donee.
11.06(1)(f) (f) An itemized statement of each loan of money made to the registrant for a political purpose in an aggregate amount or value in excess of $20, together with the full name and mailing address of the lender; a statement of whether the lender is a commercial lending institution; the date and amount of the loan; the full name and mailing address of each guarantor, if any; the original amount guaranteed by each guarantor; and the balance of the amount guaranteed by each guarantor at the end of the reporting period.
11.06(1)(g) (g) An itemized statement of every disbursement exceeding $20 in amount or value, together with the name and address of the person to whom the disbursement was made, and the date and specific purpose for which the disbursement was made.
11.06(1)(h) (h) An itemized statement of every obligation exceeding $20 in amount or value, together with the name of the person or business with whom the obligation was incurred, and the date and the specific purpose for which each such obligation was incurred.
11.06(1)(i) (i) A statement of totals during the reporting period of contributions received and disbursements made, including transfers made to and received from other registrants, other income, loans, and contributions donated as provided in par. (e).
11.06(1)(j) (j) In the case of a committee or individual filing an oath under sub. (7), a separate schedule showing for each disbursement which is made independently of a candidate, other than a contribution made to that candidate, the name of the candidate or candidates on whose behalf or in opposition to whom the disbursement is made, indicating whether the purpose is support or opposition.
11.06(1)(jm) (jm) A copy of any separate schedule prepared or received pursuant to an escrow agreement under s. 11.16 (5). A candidate or personal campaign committee receiving contributions under such an agreement and attaching a separate schedule under this paragraph may indicate the percentage of the total contributions received and disbursements made without itemization, except that amounts received from any contributor pursuant to the agreement who makes any separate contribution to the candidate or personal campaign committee during the calendar year of receipt as indicated in the schedule shall be aggregated and itemized if required under par. (a) or (b).
11.06(1)(k) (k) A statement of the balance of obligations incurred as of the end of the reporting period.
11.06(1)(L) (L) A statement of cumulative totals for the calendar year of contributions made, contributions received, and disbursements made, including transfers of funds made to or received from other registrants.
11.06(1)(m) (m) A statement of the cash balance on hand at the beginning and end of the reporting period.
11.06(1m) (1m)Surplus campaign materials. Notwithstanding sub. (1) (a) and (g), a registrant need not provide an itemized statement of a contribution or disbursement of surplus materials acquired in connection with a previous campaign of the registrant for or against the same candidate, candidates, party or referendum in connection with which the materials are utilized, if the materials were previously reported as a contribution or disbursement by that registrant.
11.06(2) (2)Disclosure of certain indirect disbursements. Notwithstanding sub. (1), if a disbursement is made or obligation incurred by an individual other than a candidate or by a committee or group which is not primarily organized for political purposes, and the disbursement does not constitute a contribution to any candidate or other individual, committee or group, the disbursement or obligation is required to be reported only if the purpose is to expressly advocate the election or defeat of a clearly identified candidate or the adoption or rejection of a referendum. The exemption provided by this subsection shall in no case be construed to apply to a political party, legislative campaign, personal campaign or support committee.
11.06(3) (3)Nonresident reporting.
11.06(3)(a)(a) In this subsection, "nonresident registrant" means a registrant who or which does not maintain an office or street address within this state.
11.06(3)(b) (b) Notwithstanding sub. (1), a nonresident registrant shall report on a form prescribed by the board the applicable information under sub. (1) concerning:
11.06(3)(b)1. 1. Contributions, including transfers and loans, and other income received from sources in this state.
11.06(3)(b)2. 2. Disbursements made and obligations incurred with respect to an election for state or local office in this state.
11.06(3)(c) (c) If a nonresident registrant is registered for campaign finance reporting purposes with the federal elections commission or with the filing officer or agency of another state, the registrant shall indicate on the report the name and address of each filing officer or agency with which a copy of its campaign finance reports is filed.
11.06(3m) (3m)Federal candidate committee reporting.
11.06(3m)(a)(a) In this subsection, "federal candidate committee" means an authorized committee of a candidate for the U.S. senate or house of representatives from this state designated by the candidate under 2 USC 432 (e).
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2011-12 Wisconsin Statutes updated though 2013 Wis. Act 200 and all Supreme Court Orders entered before April 11, 2014. Published and certified under s. 35.18. Changes effective after April 11, 2014 are designated by NOTES. (Published 4-11-14)